I had never been a walker. Run 7 miles? Yes. Bike 50 miles? Absolutely. But take a leisurely stroll around the neighborhood or through the park, no way. I have places to go, people to see, and emails that never stop coming. Walking had just never piqued my interest amidst the busyness of life and the fast-paced rhythm I liked to keep. As long as I am moving, I figured, the demands of life couldn’t catch me. Obviously, this is distorted thinking. But it flourishes in a culture that equates worth with productivity and commodifies even simple pleasures and hobbies.  

If one good thing came out of the pandemic with its forced slowdown, it was that I picked up walking. When I adopted a rescue dog, my no-walking life suddenly turned into two long walks a day. At first it felt painful to stroll so slowly down the sidewalks as my dog sniffed every leaf. However, over time this routine transformed the way I interact with the world. I now notice things I never would have without the steady slow rhythm of a walk around the block.